Design and Innovation Daily

Cultural context: app design and restaurant menus

Posted in culture, graphic design, theory by Dan on December 16, 2009

I’m always fascinated by the complexity of the interdependence of technology and cultural context. I touched on this last week when I talked about TV, web, and music, but entertainment isn’t the only place where social and business contexts define what’s appropriate in a design.

Jack Moffett wrote yesterday about the forces which affect the features that are included (and excluded) in a tool as simple as a note-taking application. This excerpt from an upcoming book by William Poundstone reveals how the layout and graphic design of a restaurant menu is determined by the way the restaurant wants the customers to perceive the prices.

On the other hand, Scott Berkun’s criticism of a particular interactive visualization shows us that the expectation for “whizzy fun visuals” sometimes competes with the effectiveness of the visualization as a communication tool.

Where else do these sorts of expectations conflict with each other?


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